121715-top-10-suzuki-sv650-00-f

As I look forward to this holiday season I’m reminded that I have plenty to be thankful for, not least of which is the return of the Suzuki SV650 next Spring as a 2017 model. Short of telling you my life story, let’s just say the SV has a special place in my heart as it does for many other riders out there. So, as I rejoice about this good news from Suzuki, allow me to explain 10 reasons why the SV650 is such a great motorcycle.

  • JMDonald

    I have to agree the SV650 is a great bike. I’ll bet the new one will be even better.

  • sod1102

    Sounds like you’re describing my FZ-07

    • Y.A.

      I heard those have bad build quality/reliability issues though. I really want one though

      • sod1102

        Yeah, I don’t know where you heard that, but it is completely untrue. The parallel twin is a bulletproof motor, and the fit and finish for this bike is most excellent, especially for a price under $7K new. Only downside is the suspension is a bit soft (unless you are 140-150 lbs), but that can be easily and cheaply upgraded.

  • Craig Hoffman

    Another reason to like the SV. It sounds great with a can on it. A used SV with a slip on is the welfare recipient’s Ducati.

    SVs are great hooligan bikes too. Was riding a wheelie (easy to do on the SV) in a residential neighborhood, a cat ran out and in that moment, in the slow motion decision making that being in trouble on a bike uniquely provides, decided to maintain the wheelie and hope for the best.

    The cat went under the still upright and locked position front tire but in front of the rear tire, a very near miss. It was not even my SV, it belonged to a friend who watched the whole scene in horror. It was one of my squidlier moments. Have splatted squirrels while in wheelie mode, but never bigger game like a cat. Glad to not have found out the end result of that.

    Yep, the SV is tossable, approachable and hooliganable. The SV is indeed a great motorcycle.

  • Ducati Kid

    SV devotees,

    Better still (concept) …

    • azi

      Please stop

    • Ian Parkes

      Looks ideal apart from the seat. Why is two thirds of the rider’s seat at 40 degrees, unless you spend two thirds of the time wheelieing?

      • Ducati Kid

        Ian,

        My thanks for your commentary.

        Join the crowd commenting on ‘tail high’ styling!

        Been doing customer (desired) revisions since the 70’s – SALES!

        Look carefully for the Extend-Retract License Plate Holder, Integrated Turn Directionals, Integrated Reflectors, Manufacturer logo and reduced size Exhaust Canister.

        Wonder if riders recall Hamamatsu’s – “Solo SUZUKI”?

      • c w

        I sat on one at the NY IMS. The saddle feels flatter/more scalloped than it appears to in photos. I found it quite comfortable.

      • c w

        Oops. It wasn’t until now I realized the point you made was about the pic above, not the real bike.

    • c w

      Tell you what, DK, how about me us up a 2K17

      SV with a touring wind shield, top case, saddle bags & hand guards? I’ve scene pics of the SW Motech scrambler edition, but I want to see the same without the custom paint and fenders.

      • Ducati Kid

        CW,

        A 2010 Bikini Fairing with hand guards and saddle bags the top case shall require some work.

        While I’m at it a lowered tail section has been requested.

        Not a Touring Windshield but Sport unless you desire Touring.

        • c w

          Oh, then apparently I’m stupid! Because I apparently didn’t mean touring when I said touring unless I meant touring!!

          That wasn’t condescending at all!!!

          • Ducati Kid

            CW,

            Enjoy your Holiday …

            Storage? Telescoping depicted …

          • c w

            NOW you’ve done some work.

            Top case instead of seat case is preferred, but it’s a good start.

            thanks.

          • Ducati Kid

            CW,

            Shush – showing our age! :-)

            My thanks for your commentary …

          • c w

            No, I’m saying a real top case would have been preferred to…that.

            You should probably also a version with the rear plastics color-matched to the tank so the boss doesn’t catch you not working.

          • Ducati Kid

            CW,

            Apologies for the delay,

            A 2016 standard SUZUKI SV650 Concept with Telescoping ‘Side Pods’ Storage, Medium Windscreen and Folding Hand guard Mirrors with Integrated Turn Signals.

            I have a ‘Full Tilt’ concept replete with Luggage …

          • Ducati Kid

            CW,

            Enjoy your Holiday …

            Storage? Telescoping (Top Case and Saddlebags) depicted …

            UPDATED with a better Windscreen!

          • Ducati Kid

            CW,

            An SV650 featuring – utility!

            Love the integrated Handguard, Mirror and Turn Directional.

          • Ducati Kid

            CW,

            An SV650 featuring – utility!

            Love that integrated Handguard, Mirror and Turn Directional.

          • c w

            “smaller” does not mean “better” for those of us covering further distances.

            Interesting difference, nevertheless.

          • Ducati Kid

            CW,

            Enjoy your Holiday …

            Storage? Telescoping (Top Case and Saddlebags) depicted …

            UPDATED with a better Windscreen!

          • Ducati Kid

            CW,

            Enjoy your Holiday …

            Storage? Telescoping (Top Case and Saddlebags) depicted …

            UPDATED with better Handguard and Windscreen!

          • Ducati Kid

            CW,

            An SV650 featuring – utility!

            Love that integrated Handguard, Mirror and Turn Directional.

  • azi

    I can’t think of a more balanced mass-produced street motorcycle design over the last 20 years. It would be very close to perfection if Suzuki managed to squeeze in cartridge forks and a slightly better rear shock within the budget.

    • spiff

      CBR F3

      • azi

        Good answer! The Goof would be my second choice, only because it was significantly more expensive than the SV650 when new, and a little less learner-friendly.

  • Old MOron

    I can’t wait for the New SV650, FZ-07, CB650F, Ninja 650, Duke 690, Vitpilen/Supermoto 701, Ducati Scrambler, Street Twin, Street Triple, Brutale 675 battle royal shootout.

  • Jeff LaLone

    I’ll have to take a spin on a non-S model. I’ve got an ’07 SV650S, and I really want to like it, but it’s on the market.

    • Y.A.

      What don’t you like about it?

      • Jeff LaLone

        The ergonomics, mostly. For hooliganism it’s great, but if I just want to burn less gas than my car? My wrists get bothered after 5 minutes and my knees after 15. I don’t know how the stocker compares, but the Sargent seat the previous owner installed is painful after about 45 minutes. Oh, and my wife can BARELY get up on the passenger pillion.

        If my finances were better, the Vulcan S has my name written all over it. The SV is good, but I just don’t think it’s for me.

        • Y.A.

          I hear you. Yea, sportbike ergos on the street or past the age of…. 35?… are a no go for me. It’s just a shame the fairings on standards all generally look awful and bucktoothed. But if I have to pick between a fairing and comfy ergos I’m going with the ergos every time.

          I think you should really check out the SV650N. You will still have the same seat issues (though I think Corbin may be a better bet- love mine and wifey does too) but the ergonomics will be a lot better. Personally I am not a fan of cruiser ergos either.

        • Diesel Driver

          I’ve never ridden an SV but I put 87,000 miles on a 04 Vstrom 650 in a bit less than 5 years and it was quite comfortable for me after I raised the shocks an inch in front and put lowering links on the back. I have severe carpal tunnel and the ergos were better than driving my car. No seat rash feeling after 90 minutes with stock seat. Sounded like George Jetson’s car before I put the Staintune muffler on it. It was starting to use more oil and seemed a bit long in the tooth so I sold it. I thought I could buy another with less miles for a reasonable price. Hah. Fooled me. If the SV is as good then you should fix the ergos to suit you.

          • Kenneth

            The difference in comfort between an SV and a V-Strom is huge – but I really don’t think anyone is going to be cross-shopping them. I replaced the stock seat on my ’06 SV with a Sargent model and increased comfortable ride-time from only 30 minutes to… only 45- 50. Maybe a Corbin would be better, after the lengthy break-in. A Laminar Lip fly screen extension proved worthy, as well.

          • Born to Ride

            I was also disappointed with my Sergeant saddle after reading rave reviews of it on SVrider. Though I’d say I went from 30 minutes to an hour before my ass was burning.

            That vinyl pattern and matching passenger seat cover really made the tail look great though.

          • Jeff LaLone

            I thought about that, but the bike only has a few modifications (none of which were installed by me). Flush mount turn signals (that are invisible to other road-goers), Sargent seat (which is rock hard), Dale Walker high-mount slip-on (great sound, good looks, but gets in the way of stock turn signals and any hope of luggage). It seems like I should just sell it and use the money toward a non-S SV.

        • Craig Hoffman

          I have ridden both. It is amazing how different they are to ride. i like the standard SV with the handlebar. With the punchy power, compact nature of the bike and upright riding position, the naked version just begs to be ridden hooligan style around town. The “S” model with its wind protection and more aggressive riding position would be better for riding fast though.

    • c w

      Winter project: swap clip-ons for handlebars, reduced-height pegs, gel insert for Sargent or sell it and get a stocker.

      Suz missed out not making an ST model or kit with the upper fairing of the S and the bars of the N.

  • Y.A.

    I want to trade my Ninja 650R for one, but I can’t get a definitive answer on how much more power it can handle. I’ve heard that the stock crank is pretty much at its limit out of the factory, and big internal mods like a big bore kit can push it over. My riding is 99.9999% commuting so I can’t take any chances… but I definitely want more than what my ER-6 is giving me.

    • Born to Ride

      I read an article somewhere on an SV motor build and as I recall the crankshaft upgrade was by far the most significant expense.

      • Y.A.

        Yea, the billet crankshafts I’ve seen are about $3K. I’d rather just swap in a 1K motor or buy a 1K.

    • sgray44444

      75-80 reliable and cheap horsepower is about the limit with cams, exhaust, and tune. More can be done, but that is the point of diminishing returns. It sounds like this time around Suzuki has pretty much maxed the sane capability at 75hp.

  • http://www.motou.info Gabe Ets-Hokin

    Hey! Add a photo credit to #9–Dito Milan, GotBlueMilk.com Motorsports Photography

    • TroySiahaan

      Done.

  • http://www.motou.info Gabe Ets-Hokin

    And hey! That’s me in #10, back in 2006. That’s Fonzie’s ridiculously huge tank/seat bag.

  • Mahatma

    Why not a 1000 instead?Not much more dineros,and more grunt… Never liked the look of that SV,but was tempted to go for that 1000 because of the engine. Good article though:)

    • c w

      Because Suz is cash-strapped and it’s got its 1L sporty eggs all in another basket at the moment (GSX-S1000).

      • Tomoyoshi Tsuda

        Also because Suzuki is developing that turbocharged parallel twin Recursion bike which likely will have engine performance similar to the SV1000.

        • c w

          I’ll believe “developing” when I see proof of further development.

          • Tomoyoshi Tsuda

            They did have a further developed engine on show at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show.

          • c w

            Nothing I read pointed towards much more than the non-working mock-up they’d shown before. I can’t claim to know their budget, but I wager there is far more in the actual building of the S1000 than the long-term development of what *might* become the new Katana.

            Had ‘Zuk more cash on hand, I could believe that they were dumping a lot at the turbo twin project. As it is, I don’t Suzuki to be able to handle more than one new bike at a time. Pushing out a new model costs a LOT of money….that’s why a successful bike that continues to make money well go a long time without being changed – the money has already been spent on tooling.

            Granted, the S750 has already been in production for 6 years as the GSR750 and there wasn’t too much new that needed to be stamped for the S1000’s engine. However, that new frame is the first truly new major part for Suzuki to build in a while.

            AND it appears there’s a new Gixxer 1K on the horizon.

            So…I currently view the Recursion as, at best, a long-term side project – thought it may just be a boutique concept so they have something sexy to present at the Tokyo Motor Show.

            I would like very much to see it result in something real (….like a new, lightweight, sporting Katana), though.

          • Tomoyoshi Tsuda

            I read an interview of a suzuki engineer on the turbo project in a japanese mag. The engineer said the turbo engine was being developed on the basis that it would be used on a production bike although he added that he could not state that it would 100% go into production on the spot. So I’m kind of optimistic that they will produce it even if not very soon.
            And I agree that a new Katana re-styled to today’s trends would look awesome.

    • Infadel Macgee

      nevermind a 1000 . A 1300 now we’re talking

      • Mahatma

        Turbo charged?

  • SRMark

    SV is a great bike. Ain’t nuthin wrong with the Gladius either. If you don’t like the color, get the black or paint the painted ones.

  • halfkidding

    Now if only Honda would bring back the CX. The Honda has kept models in production for years that nobody buys no less. I guess they were embarrassed by the pushrods or something.

  • Sean

    I just find them so ugly. The new one is slightly better but still not great.

  • Volker

    Guys, I really, really like your webpage – but why do you have autoplaying audio and video content? It’s really driving me nuts, especially in a click-through article like this one.

    • John

      Except that none of the slides have videos or audio……….

  • Infadel Macgee

    Enough ! Bring out the Chrome moly Tube frame TL1300S .THAT I would buy .